Winter River-Tracadie Bay Watershed pushes for more restrictions

The Winter River-Tracadie Bay Watershed Association wants Charlottetown to bring in more water restrictions as their concerns mount about streams drying up.

Charlottetown says it already has measures in place

The Winter River-Tracadie Bay Watershed Association wants Charlottetown to bring in more water restrictions as their concerns mount about streams drying up.

"It was probably in the four to five centimetre depth. So it is down from what it was last Friday," says Bruce Smith, using a small branch to measure the depth of a stream.

For the past four years, the watershed group has raised concerns about dried-up streams in the Winter River-Tracadie Bay area, where the City of Charlottetown draws most of its water.

Smith says, right now, five to six springs he’s watching are just trickles, flowing at one litre per second.

"A lot of trout spawning takes place on these small streams. If they're going to be able to spawn, we have to have water back in the stream. And really it's not just for trout, it's the whole ecosystem," he says.

The city says it already has water conserving efforts in place, including the low-flow toilet programs and water metering.

Coun. Eddie Rice chairs the water and sewer committee and says seasonal water restrictions are in place.

"We haven't met our limit yet of extraction," he says.

Rice says water usage is down nine per cent this year compared to 2012 when the streams went completely dry.

The city says when the well-field in Miltonvale is built, it will mean less water will be taken from Winter River-Tracadie Bay area. Smith says that's still a couple of years away and the group wants to see action soon.

The watershed group wants the city to bring in more water restrictions, but Rice says stricter water restrictions are brought in place when usage is too high, not based off the water flow rate of streams.

Both sides plan to meet soon.


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